Learn Windows XP Professional in 15 Minutes a Week: Troubleshooting TCP/IP in Windows XP Professional - Part 2

by Jason Zandri

Welcome to this week's installment of Learn Windows XP Professional in 15 minutes a week, the 14th in this series. This article will continue covering the TCP/IP Protocol within Windows XP Professional and will specifically focus on troubleshooting the network protocol under Windows XP Professional.

Jason Zandri's latest article in the Learning Windows XP Professional in 15 Minutes a Week series continues a discussion on the TCP/IP Protocol within Windows XP Professional and specifically addresses troubleshooting the network protocol.

Internet Protocol Addressing Overview

The Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol is a network communication protocol. It can be used as a communications protocol on private networks and is the default protocol in use on the internet. When you set up any system to have direct access to the Internet, whether it is via dial-up or one of the high speed technologies in use today, your system will need to utilize the TCP/IP protocol (whether it is a Windows-based system or not).

Also, if the given system needs to communicate with other TCP/IP systems on the local LAN or WAN, it will need to utilize the TCP/IP protocol as well.

[NOTES FROM THE FIELD] - This is just a basic overview of TCP/IP, and I didn't want to get too involved with it within this article. There is bountiful information on TCP/IP all over the internet and before pouring through the RFCs I would first suggest you try these two resources -- TCP/IP Frequently Asked Questions or TCP/IP Protocol Suite - Questions & Answers.

I have gone into a more detailed overview of the TCP/IP Protocol in an article from a couple of weeks ago, which covered the four-layer conceptual model of TCP/IP and how the model stacks up against the seven layer Open System Interconnection (OSI) protocol model. I also detailed administering TCP/IP Addressing in Windows XP Professional two weeks ago.

Last week was the first part of troubleshooting TCP/IP, which covered the main programs native to Windows XP Professional available for use in helping to troubleshoot TCP/IP.

TCP/IP Troubleshooting Continued

Windows XP Professional offers several native programs for use in troubleshooting TCP/IP. These tools were discussed in greater detail last week; as an overview, they are:

Ping Ping can be used to test your TCP/IP connection by sending a message to the remote node or gateway from a local system.
ARP Displays and modifies the IP-to-Physical address translation tables used by
address resolution protocol (ARP).
Ipconfig The ipconfig command is used to get the local system's basic IP configuration information, including the IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway.
Nbtstat NetBT Statistics (Nbtstat.exe) is used for troubleshooting network NetBIOS names over TCP/IP (NetBT) resolution problems from the command line. It displays protocol statistics and current TCP/IP connections that are using NetBT.
Netstat Netstat (Netstat.exe) displays TCP/IP protocol statistics and active connections to and from your computer from the command line. It also provides an option to display the number of bytes sent and received, as well as network packets dropped (if any).
Route The Route command-line tool is used to display the current IP routing table and add or delete IP routes.
Hostname Returns the local computer's host name for authentication by the Remote Copy Protocol (RCP), Remote Shell (RSH), and Remote Execution (REXEC) tools.
Tracert Tracert is sometimes used to verify that IP addressing has been correctly configured on a client. It will basically show the route taken to reach a remote system. 
PathPing Pathping also shows the route taken to reach a remote system as does TRACERT, but PATHPING does so with more detail and allows for more functionality as well.

There are additional tools that can be used to test TCP/IP connectivity. These are standard use tools for the TCP/IP protocol. The first tool we'll look at is the File Transfer Protocol, or FTP.

This article was originally published on Sep 9, 2002
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